Sens Graduated Prospects

By Richard Polonsky

Currently the Sens are fighting for top spot in the Eastern Conference with one of the youngest, cheapest and most exciting squads in the league. They have made amends with Alexei Yashin, and he is back among the elite players. And they some blue-chip youngsters in the line-up.

Let’s begin with the cream of the crop, Martin Havlat. This Czech prodigy has adjusted to the speed, strength and confinement of the NHL quite well. So much so that he has been dominating on some nights and currently sits with 15 points in 22 games. He missed some time with a separated shoulder, but it has not affected him at all as he scored two goals in his first game back. He has also formed a bond with Czech teammate Vaclav Prospal and plays with Rob Zamuner all on one line. Sens fans are no doubt excited at the progress of Havlat and will be in awe of his skills for a long time. He really is a future star.

Next, there is Russian winger Peter Schastlivy. Originally, a 4th round draft choice (101 overall), the Sens look like the uncovered another sleeper. Peter boasts great speed and skill and has shown a sniper’s touch filling in for the injured Magnus Arvedson on a line with Marian Hossa and Radek Bonk. The Sens obviously look to him to fill the net consistently and lock down a permanent spot on the roster which he failed to do at training camp.

In goal, Jani Hurme has done an admirable job as the backup and didn’t look out of place filling in for an injured Patrick Lalime earlier in the year posting a 3 wins, a shutout and a 2.78 GAA. He is a late rookie, but the Sens are happy to have him no doubt.

Some other rookies earning spot duty this year due to injuries are Karel Rachunek who has 2 points in 19 games, before getting injured. He has looked steady on the blueline and might have a permanent spot with the Sens. Shane Hnidy has received some great reviews by commentators and management playing on the blueline and could also be a main stay on the roster. Sean Gagnon and David Emmons have also been recalled when there have been injuries, but have yet earned a permanent stay.